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Humanitarianism 101: Advanced Strategies For Wolves and Other Beasties

Page history last edited by Kaivêran 1 year, 6 months ago



  • Don't have meta tells (i.e “X only does Y as Z alignment!”) It’s inevitable that different players will develop distinct styles, but ideally, your play should look similar across all of your games, differing mainly in the private dimension. Even if you absolutely hate the role or alignment you’ve drawn, suck it up and play your best. If anyone ever gets you lynched because of a meta tell, you’ve messed up somewhere. Find out what you did wrong, and fix it for the future.


  • Exploit the gaps in the town’s thinking. There are often “blind spots” where people just gloss over certain possibilities or don’t have certain suspicions; you want to snatch one of these and run with it. For example, you'll usually find one “under-the-radar” player in a game; a guy who nobody wants to lynch, despite no one really interacting with him or stating reasons for his humanity. That guy makes a good “primary suspect”. Call him out and force people to engage with him. This kind of thing shows initiative, which gives you lots of human points. Best case scenario, the town decides it does want to lynch your target, but even if nobody else warms up to it, you can still push him, begrudgingly settle for another lynch as deadline looms, then do it all over again next day.


  • Sometimes, though, you don't want to lynch the people you cry wolf about; you want the town to lynch the people you call human. This is especially true in games with cardflipping or a Psychic, where people tend to look at mislynch wagons for wolves, and thus you'll do better if you're not on them – but even without any of these things, you can't be the pusher of the mislynch du jour all-day-every-day. Once Day N has passed (where N is the expected number of Wolves) and the game still isn't over, if not sooner, the town is going to realize they messed up somewhere and begin to re-evaluate – which can point straight towards you if you've been careless. So be sure to tone down your bloodthirst every once in a while and push an alternative to the easy lynchbait (but be sure not to scummily back away from said alternative, if it does start getting traction.)


  • There is a common belief among players that Humans ought to win. This is wrong, of course – there wouldn’t be a game at all if only one side had the right to win – but can be duly exploited. If someone has been on many of the major wagons, they tend to be a good lynch target. Similarly, if there is someone that seems to be causing the town not to succeed or leading them in bad directions, they will start taking heat. You should leave the responsibility for the bad decisions on the town and keep the paranoia high; in particular, the idea that the town is being conned by their leaders is a mental thorn that few players are able to dislodge.


  • Act like you have no intrinsic connection to your wolf buddies. You will not buddy them, unless they are facing clearly unreasonable attack, and you will not bus them, unless they have clearly slipped or been caught. You will, however, argue with at least one of them. Even if you are ganging up on the same townie, you can poke holes in each other's cases, or bicker about differences in other “reads”. To the public eye, your team cannot be a unified bloc, and they cannot disregard each-other. They must interact in some capacity. People readily pick up on this, even if only at a subconscious level, and it will bite you in the butt later.


  • Don’t make the mistake of making all your interactions hostile, though. Wolves these days often get worried about listing their buddies as human and thus aggressively distance themselves during the day, but it doesn't really matter whether you “suspect” each other or not. You just can't look like you're synchronized. A lot of wolf teams all treat each other the same way, either as best friends or mortal enemies. Don't do that. Mix it up and spread your team out in your “reads list” as far as logic will allow. For example, outline suspicion of your most bumbling partner, but stay cool with one who is avoiding most of the town’s ire (while perhaps engaging in minor squabbles with another in a similar position). In this way, you can insure that if you are caught, they won’t be able to trace you to all of your buddies, no matter what their interpretation of your actions is.


  • While we’re hovering around the subject, sacrificing your teammates (bussing, own-team killing, etc.) is overrated. As a general rule, you should never put one of your teammates on the chopping block unless your survival absolutely depends on it. To be sure, throwing one of your wolf buddies to the lynch mob or killing them off at night are bold moves, and if done right, they can effectively dispel any suspicion. That "if done right" is the operative phrase here, and if you're even the slightest bit unsure of your ability to pull it off, don't do it. Killing off one of your own, in all cases, dents your ability to influence the town and lets another cycle go by without progress towards your win condition. Also, the entire point of these risky maneuvers is to give a Wolf/Wolves town credit, fudge the town's analysis, and/or misdirect their suspicions. For a variety of reasons – ranging from game mechanics such as the presence and type of cardflipping, to Human roles that can bust your gambit, or even the attitudes of the Human players themselves – none of those goals could be accomplished, which means you just shot yourself in the foot. So be sure to weigh the possibilities extremely carefully, and be reasonably certain that you stand to gain more than you lose, before these tactics even become a gleam on your fangs.


  • You don’t need an answer to everything. I know, counter-intuitive, but a lot of the time, responding to every single attack and having an elaborate explanation behind everything you do can serve to draw more attention to yourself, not less. By contrast, someone who isn’t particularly bothered by all these nitpicks and little things can come across as a confident human . Now if someone goes to the trouble of making a huge case on you, or your perspective or role in a certain event is judged critical for wolf-hunting by the town, that means you’re under the microscope and you should reply to everything they say. But let the petty things slide.




  • In general, you want to keep the maximum amount of disagreement, intrigue, and vitriol in the game as possible, so that the townspeople are at each-other’s throats and not yours. This also allows you to play the “only sane man” card to great effect. Be sure to keep track of interactions between players and try to break the most productive relationships; in this way you can maximize the potential for a town to eat itself.


  • A clueless and/or bullheaded townie that is hard to lynch is a great asset, particularly if they are active and have a short fuse. Keep them alive for as long as is feasible.


  • When in doubt, kill off the serene ones; those pesky humans that have perpetually unrustled jimmies, calmly and coolly poring through everything they get their hands on. You can’t rile them up, and if they catch you, you’ll have a hell of a time shaking them. Of course, if they think you are human, you can let them live for a while, but they’re usually unlynchable and you’ll want to dispose of them sooner rather than later. People tend to want drama in a lynch, and they won’t get it from these guys.


  • Terrified of Nightkill Analysis? Don't be. Most people seem to forget that, for most of a game anyway, Wolves comprise a team of different people, with differing approaches and strategies with regards to who gets mauled every night, and all of them can (and should!) get input on the final choice. A lot of humans mistakenly analyze early-game nightkills trying to pin them on a single player, which has mixed results at best, and with practice you can learn to exploit this and misdirect the town on that crucial first day. NOTICE: If you're not consulting your wolf buds before making the kill, even if it's one of those games that forces a single wolf to make it, you should be! Otherwise, you're wasting the main advantage of being a wolf, which is multiple minds working together to optimize their chances of victory, whatever that looks like. Work together with your team to make the best choice. 


  • Of course, if things go off the rails and you do end up being the last wolf alive, that doesn't mean you're doomed. You just need to make careful, informed decisions about your now-solo wolfings and how they will be subject to scrutiny. Take into account the state of the game, for example:
    • Does the town know that there's only one wolf left?
    • How do the players in the game read you, and what kill do they expect you to make as a wolf?
    • How will they react to an unexpected kill? How will their reads change if it forces them to re-evaluate?
    • And last but certainly not least: am I more likely to survive if a given player is alive or dead the next Day?
  • These are the crucial questions you need to be asking yourself as you decide who will get wolfed, and whether the kill is optimizing or misdirecting – as a team too, but especially as a solo Wolf. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast answers; they vary with the game state and setup and are constantly changing. You will get at least some of them wrong, some of the time. Just take it in stride, do your best and never give up. Pulling off a solo Wolf Victory is one of the most satisfying feelings in all of TWG.




  • As Serial Killer (or any other Bad Dude that wants everyone dead):

    • If you don't have any immunity to kills, playing as SK forces you into the middle of the road.  Being too wolfy will get you lynched/vigi'd, but playing too "well" will get you killed by the wolves. You lose either way. If you're fairly new, or a relatively unremarkable player compared to the rest of the playerlist, you stand a decent chance of blending in without having to expend much extra effort. If you're known for being lynched a lot, however, or being a good player, then you'll have to find a way to pull away from these extremes without coming across as too suspicious. For example, pick reasoned arguments with people you really think are town, but still be able to argue your way out of a lynch. Try not to blatantly "catch on" to wolves; they hate that and like killing people for it.

    • If you do have immunity to kills, some of the pressure is removed, and you can play more town-like, if you wish. You still don't want to bait a kill, though – if the wolves/vigilante try to off you and fail, and you're not an obvious target for protection, they might deduce that you're an SK and you'll be moved to the top of their hitlist for a subsequent lynch/kill. So if you're going to play town-like, act like a plain old townie, don't act like a Blue. This includes not claiming to be a Blue like a Vigilante, except maybe as a last resort – that's just holding up a bright neon sign that says "WOLF ME" unless there's a living protective role in the game.
    • The wolves are generally more of a threat to your victory than the humans. Most of the time, they'll win as soon as they reach majority, regardless of whether you're still alive or not. Even if they don't, you obviously want to avoid that kind of situation. If the town isn't lynching wolves, it's up to you to kill them. At the same time, you don't want to totally massacre them. While there is at least one wolf alive, there is a chance that someone other that your victim will die at Night; that extra kill = less time you have to spend dodging the lynch, which will get more and more difficult as the playerlist dwindles. Of course, if that extra kill eventually hits you and you don't have any protection, it's a lost gamble – so decide early whether or not you want to take the risk, and how long you plan on doing it.
    • A lot of the previous advice for playing as a lone Wolf applies here too. Specifically, the town is going to lean hard on Nightkill Analysis to try and find you, since you have no partners and are solely responsible for the kill, and you'll have to carefully play around that.


  • If It Seems You Are Not The Only Wolves:
    • Some of the advice for playing as Serial Killer applies here (funny, that!) You are placed in a similar frame of action that emphasizes survival, since (like said SK) you now have to dodge kills during the Day and the Night. Unless you have a Guardian of your own (or other kind of protection), making public brash moves against the other team(s) is a bad idea as they'll likely kill you for it; If the other team seems to think you're town, you can keep a couple them around for the extra kill they provide before going all in to secure the win; and so on and so forth.
    • A PR-management strategy that could be specifically helpful for multi-wolf games is this: If 1 is the wolfiest/most reserved play and 5 is the loudest/towniest play, as a wolf you should hover around 2 and 4The reasons for this are succinctly explained by this illustrative graphic. Which one of 2 and 4? It varies. Generally, you want to start on the one closest to your usual play, and change it up if you're catching heat or your play is getting stale. Don't be afraid to move to 3 as needed, but try not to stay there too long. Caveats:
      • You can't all be occupying the same position – that's a dead giveaway that you're wolves. Mix it up and make sure you're not moving in lockstep with the others.
      • Similar to the SK, if your play is normally at an extreme, you need to pull away from it. Extremes are not good for survival, and now that you're facing off against another wolf team, survival is an even higher priority. You'll need to learn the art of looking like 1 while playing 2, or looking like 5 while playing 4, if you don't want people to think something's amiss.
      • Remember that the townier end of the spectrum is always safer than the scummier end. So don't be afraid to move from 2 to 3 or even from 4 to 5 if you're in danger, because it will very likely help you.
      • Also keep in mind that, in rare cases, you can be both be quiet/reserved and be carried by a town, or active and loud but still drawing ire. If you can worm your way into either of these juxtapositions, be sure to exploit them for what they're worth.
      •  Treat this strategy like the Pirate Code: more like guidelines than actual rules. For example, if your normal, organic play hovers around 3, and you're doing just fine as a wolf, keep cruising down that middle lane, honey; don't try to fix what isn't broken! The less you have to force your play, the less chance of you getting caught.
    • It's generally a good idea to keep the full extent of your team's own wolf-hunt to yourselves; reveal just enough in the thread and over chat to defuse any suspicions on you, while dishing all the dirt in the wolf chat. It's not enough to efficiently plan the other team's demise; you have to live to carry out that plan as well.
    • While you're at it, be sure to fake hunting for your own wolf team as well as the other. A classic way to get caught in a Crossfire/Multiwolf game is having your posts, votes, and/or claimed role actions only oriented at bringing down one wolf team, making it obvious that you're on one yourself. So be sure to at least say "I don't know" when a townie asks you what faction you think your "suspects" are on...and conversely, try not to introduce speculation on whether a suspect is on a specific team if a town player wouldn't do so in the same situation.


  • If It's Your Turn To Play the Fool:
    • <TBD>





playing as SK forces you into the middle of the road. Playing too wolfy will get you lynched, but playing too "well" will get you nightkilled. You lose either way. If you're an unremarkable player on the list (which you kinda are, despite your great debut) you stand a decent chance of blending in without doing much special. If you're noted for getting lynched a lot or for being a good player (you might have a touch of the latter reputation), you must learn to play a suboptimal game without coming across as too suspicious. For instance, pick reasoned arguments with people you really think are town, but be able to talk your way out of a lynch. Try not to blatantly "catch onto" wolves; they hate that and like killing people for it.

Comments (1)

Kaivêran said

at 1:04 pm on Mar 12, 2015

needs an intro

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